The Ten of Wands from The Hobbit Tarot is our card for today. This is an odd little deck. All of the images are references to events from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I find that some of the illustrations are amazing and appropriate, while others are…. puzzling… frankly this is a deck that I wouldn’t recommend for serious reading. It’s more of a novelty deck. The reason I’m using it today, though is that this particular image is one of the most appropriate ones in the deck, in my opinion.
The Ten of Wands, as the other tens of the Tarot, represents a completion. Specifically, the Ten of Cups represents a completion of a labor, typically a particularly burdensome one. However, it also represents a new burden, often brought on by the completion of the previous task. In the Ten of Wands something great has been achieved, but there is a new task that has begun as well. The reason I think that this card is so appropriate to this is that we see the massive carcass of the dragon Smaug (the Tolkien nerd in me needs to point out that this does NOT rhyme with smog) draped over a tree. Just moments before he was ravaging Laketown with fire. However, Bard has brought him down and destroyed the threat at this point. However, as you can see, while something great has been achieved there is now a new task: what to do with the absolutely massive dead dragon. This is a massive undertaking that won’t be complete any time soon.
The message of the Ten of Wands today is that sometimes in life we reach those points of achievement that we’ve been working towards for so long. While we are proud to have reached that point, we also begin to see that we have reached a goal only to have more work and more challenge in front of us. Often, these situations, it’s easy to get frustrated or discouraged, but this is just the nature of life. Life is a series of cycles and every cycle will always give way to a new one. Every achievement will open the door for newer and sometimes greater challenges. There is never a point in life where we have “arrived” as it were. Once a task or goal is achieved, another is waiting right there, sometimes opened up by our very achievement. When this happens it’s not that anything is wrong, it’s simply the way of things. The cycle starts anew. Our human nature tends to be frustrated by this, but that is how we continue to develop and grow. It’s truly something to be thankful for!
The only warning here, however, is not to overburden yourself. Be careful not to take on too much too quickly. Remember that you are not alone on your life journey. Let go of things you cannot carry. Allow others to pick those things up. Ask for the help if you need it. The dragon Smaug certainly won’t be dealt with by a single person in a single day. This is a massive undertaking, but one well worth it. Be kind to yourself. Take up the work that is needed to move forward to the next step of life, but understand that at the end of every achievement there is another challenge waiting. Greet the challenge with joy. Live for the process. That’s what life is all about, after all.
If you’re a Tolkien fan and would like The Hobbit Tarot you can add it through any of the links or images on this post.